2 Simple But Brilliant Content Marketing Examples from the Great White North

Taxi_Mike_and_YoutilityInspired by YoutilityLast week was big for me, as I finally met Taxi Mike in person. I first found Taxi Mike and his content marketing prowess 3+ years ago, and he was the original inspiration for my best-selling book, Youtility. But I’d never met the man until this week, when I returned to beautiful Banff, Alberta to deliver a presentation on Youtility to Travel Alberta.

I was honored to shake Mike’s hand, give him a signed copy of the book and a special Youtility T-shirt. What makes Taxi Mike a special content marketer?

Taxi Mike is a Youtility

Banff is a big ski town. It features soaring mountains and glistens with bars, restaurants and tourists galore. There are, of course, many, many taxi drivers in Banff, but Taxi Mike is the only one that builds his business with Youtility. Four times per year Taxi Mike puts together the “Taxi Mike Dining Guide: Where to Eat in Banff.” It’s a very simple, 8.5 x 11 piece of bright yellow paper, printed on both sides. It’s not what we’d classically consider to be “great” content, but it’s incredibly effective because it’s hyper-relevant.

Taxi Mike updates his guide every quarter with his latest recommendations for best sports bar, hottest nightclub, best place for cheap drinks, and more than a dozen other categories. Taxi Mike makes a few hundred copies, folds them into thirds like a rack brochure, and delivers them to every restaurant, hotel, bar, or tourist establishment in the area. You’ll see them on counters all around Banff, and if you don’t see one in a particular place, just ask. They have them behind the bar, guaranteed. They want to hand them out because Mike’s information is accurate, and just about every place is listed in Taxi Mike’s guide somewhere. He is a one man Trip Advisor.

At the end of a night in Banff, when you’ve been to six or eight of these places and you think, “Wow, I really should get a cab home,” are you going to walk out on the corner and just raise your hand? No. You’re going to reach into your pocket and see the crumpled up, bright yellow piece of paper that has the map of downtown you’ve been looking at all night that says, “Taxi Mike – 760-1052”. And he’s such a Youtility, he also does computer repair.

Simple. Useful. Helpful. That’s Taxi Mike.

Short Form Content Can Tell Big Stories

While preparing new Youtility case studies for the Travel Alberta event, I stumbled across Mike Morrison and his Instagram video for Glacier Skywalk. Opening in May 2014, the Glacier Skywalk (2.5 hours from Banff) will enable visitors to walk out on a glass-floored observation platform perched 918 feet above a glacier-filled canyon. The glass deck was recently installed, and the owners of the Skywalk invited Mike Morrison to investigate. Mike runs MikesBloggityBlog, a popular travel and entertainment blog in Canada.

The resulting Instagram video perfectly captures – in just 15 seconds – the thrill (and perhaps terror) of walking out over the canyon. A blogger + iPhone + 15-second video = content marketing success. Sometimes that’s all you need, as this video is now being prominently featured on the Glacier Skywalk website.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing content has to be complicated, comprehensive, or polished to a fine sheen to work for your company. That’s one way to do it, but you can also use Cooperative Content, or you can use less-polished, short form content like Taxi Mike and Mike Morrison.

What makes content “good” isn’t what you spend to make it, it’s whether or not it works. (tweet this)

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  1. Laura says

    Great article and a reminder of simple marketing steps that make a big impact. I love Bamff– we were out there a couple years ago for a snowboarding trip

  2. says

    It’s an interesting reminder that what matters the most at content is the quality and the value it has for others. If you give accurate relevant information, people will trust you with many other activities in their daily life. Like taking a ride in your taxi.

  3. Joey Ambrose says

    Love the ideas, Jay, and what a great story about Taxi Mike. As complicated as we make things, it is still true the best ideas are the simple ones :)

  4. Nito says

    Great story about Taxi Mike. It seems as though simple forms of marketing are being forgotten now that we have technology at our finger tips, but sometimes simple is the best way to go. TV advertisements for example, are so focused on entertaining that their actual marketing message gets lost. As consumers, we are always seeking convenience. We are not going to dig through the endless layers of an advertisement to get to the message.
    I love Taxi Mike’s method because it is simple, convenient, and clear for both the marketer and the consumer.

  5. JimYoungPRBrigade says

    I just love seeing great examples of Instagram and Vine put to work. I think these are still underutilized platforms for brands simply because of a lack of creativity. Thanks for sharing, Jay.

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